Wholesome and nourishing, sweet and earthy black-eyed pea curry with Swiss chard and roasted eggplant
- 2/3 cup dried black-eyed peas (2 cups cooked)
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 large globe or Italian eggplant
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 green or red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 2 shallots, mined
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons water, or more as needed
- Rinse the black-eyed peas and soak in several inches of water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes. Take care not to overcook — the beans should be tender but not be falling apart. Drain and set aside.
- To prepare the eggplant, cut of the stem and bottom edge and then cut in half lengthwise. Score the flesh into diagonal 1-inch lines, then turn and score again until you have a diagonal pattern. Take care not to cut through the skin. Sprinkle with some salt and let sit for 40 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out any excess water. Brush the eggplant with some oil and transfer to a roasting pan. Bake in a preheated 400° oven until the flesh appears collapsed and is wrinkly. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes, season with a bit of salt, and remove the flesh from the eggplant. If there is too much water, drain in a strainer. Set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in the same saucepan used to cook the black-eyed peas. When hot, toss in the shallots and chilies and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Now add the spices and stir for another minute, until fragrant. Add the tomato, cook for another few minutes, and then add the eggplant and black-eyed peas, and cook for another few minutes, stirring often.
- Pour a few tablespoons of water into the pan and add handfuls of chard at a time until wilted. Add more water as necessary. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste near the end of the cooking time. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for a few minutes before serving.